Emotions, Happy, Healthy Living, Productivity, Success May 27th, 2007
Maximum Energy in 10 Simple Steps
Everyone wants more energy. We chase it down with drugs and we rob ourselves of it with not enough rest. The answers to experiencing our ultimate energy levels come down to simple habits. Some of these may not sound new, but print this out and let it serve as a lifestyle to aspire to. Oftentimes it is helpful to be reminded of the things we know so that we will actually take action on doing them.
Energy Producing Habits:
1. Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing. Do this exercise first thing in the morning and then at least 2 more times during the day. Anytime you find yourself waiting, use this to pass the time. Or if you feel sluggish, that is another good time to do this. It will also supercharge your Lymph system which is your body’s immune system powerhouse.
- Blow all the air out of your lungs.
- Take a slow breath into the bottom of your lungs by letting your stomach relax out. Continue==>>
- Next keep breathing into the middle rib cage. Continue==>>
- Finally finish the in breath by filling the upper lungs.
- Use this timing formula. In for 1, Hold for 3, Out for 2. Example if you breath in for 10 seconds, then you would hold for 30 and then Release for 20.
- Repeat this 5-10 times per session.
2. Get Enough Rest. Figure out how much sleep YOU need. I need 7 -8 hours of sleep per night to feel good in the morning. Less (or even more) than that and I feel sleepy all day. It’s been said before, but if you want more energy, now is the time to make it a habit. How much do you need? Be kind to yourself and ensure you get it!
3. Reduce and then Avoid Caffiene. I know, I know. I can hear the shouts already, “But I need my caffiene!” I know how you feel. I felt that way too. I’m here to tell you that You Can Do It and that it will make you feel better in the long run. Caffeine robs Peter to pay Paul. It is a nice little high, but it comes at a price. After the high wears off, there is that irritability which stems from robbing future energy. You have to pay for it sometime. Does this sound familiar: After drinking coffee there is that high feeling of “I can do anything!” followed by a furious amount of action or thinking or talking. Then there is a leveling off of energy and finally a feeling of being impatient and easily aggravated. If this is not your pattern, maybe you can stick with coffee without suffering energy consequences. But if you do recognize yourself in this pattern, then at least begin to explore the idea of reducing and maybe even eliminating coffee. I have it now only as a special treat and I’m always reminded why I’m better off without it when I do.
4. Meditation “Naps.” This is something I learned from rocking a baby to sleep. By accident I found that when I was rocking the baby to sleep or giving a bottle feeding, I would also close my eyes for the 10-15 minutes it took. I found that I was incredibly rejuvenated afterwards. I used the time to let my mind rest, by either focusing on the breath or by trying to focus on a mantra word. It didn’t matter what the word was. I recommend doing this when energy is lagging. for those times when you would ordinarily go for a cup of coffee, do this instead.
HOW TO DO THIS: Sitting in a chair, close your eyes, lean your head back and focus on your breathing. Take slow diaphragmatic breaths. Relax your eyes, jaw, and face. Maybe do some neck streches and some arm stretches, all with your eyes closed. After stretching just relax your whole body. Let go of what you’ve been working on. It will be there when you return and you’ll be better able to handle it then. Continue to focus on the breath and perhaps also focus on a word or sound that helps keep your mind from trying to work on problems. The word might be “calm” or “peace” or “om,” whatever works for you. As thoughts come into your mind, notice them and just come back to the breath or your focus word, your mantra. After 15 minutes or so, slowly open your eyes, stretch a little, take a couple deep breaths and enjoy the rejuvenated feeling! (Try to use your internal clock for timing. You’ll be surprised how accurate you are.)
5. Avoid Sugar. This one is easy and hard. Easy to say, hard to do. Start slow by starting to read labels. Keep sugar in your diet to a minimum. Try Stevia in your decaf green tea instead. If you are going to have something sweet, try to combine it with fiber to lessen the blood sugar spike. Good choices are low glycemic fruits such as apple, plum, or oranges. If you want something a little more “decadent” and good for you, try some Kashi Cookies.
6. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco. Smoking makes you tired in the long run. It robs your body in so many ways. Quitting is hard, but here is an inspiring story of how someone quit smoking. It’s not easy, but You Can Do It! Alcohol is like caffeine in that you are robbing Peter to pay Paul. You’re robbing future energy for some “high” energy now. Yes, alcohol can be fun in moderation. If you want more energy, and you use alcohol daily or frequently, consider cutting back. See how your energy changes. If you like what you feel, then keep going. For some, alcohol is not an easy relationship, but remember what ever you want to accomplish, You Can Do It!
7. What to Drink Instead of Coffee. “Long Life Cocktail” is something I learned from Louise Gittleman’s book, “Fat Flush,” which is an excellent book on learning to eat more healthy. Here’s the recipe: 8-10 ounces of water, 1 ounce PURE cranberry juice, and 1 level tablespoon of ground flax seed. (The PURE Cranberry juice you use should have no other ingredients. You can find it in the health section of the grocery store. Look for Sun Mountain brand, for example.) This drink cleans your liver and the fiber is great for your digestive health. Flax seed is a “super food” and has many benefits including lowering cholesterol, lowering tryglycerides, lowering blood pressure, reducing cancer rates, in particular breast cancer, and more. The drink is a little strange at first, but I’ve grown to love it. I have it one to two times a day.
The other drink I use once a day is a “Green Drink” called Green Vibrance which is a nutritional supplement drink that has many immune, energy and digestive benefits. It’s a little pricey, but I like all the benefits. Try it in a healthy smoothie and you’ll have real energy that lasts all day long!
8. Yoga and Stretching. Deep breathing massages the lymph system and the net cleansing benefits are increased energy. Yoga gives you this in large doses. The other thing it gives you is actual physical release of stored stress. When you stretch your muscles they release into a more relaxed state. When they do this stress chemicals are released. Through deep breathing, your lymph systems is stimulated to carry these toxic chemicals to the blood stream where they are eliminated from your body via expiration (breathing) and through the liver and kidneys. The net result is more energy. If you’ve done yoga you know what I’m talking about. If not, get yourself a yoga video or to a yoga class soon. You will love it. And then make sure to schedule it into your life on a weekly basis. And try to do at least 10 minutes of stretching everyday, especially after any workout.
9. 30 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Per Day. Keep it simple. Brisk walking or jogging are low cost and highly beneficial. Rotate your activities to keep yourself interested. Play some tennis or soccer or running races with your kids. You get the same benefits even if you break it into shorter chunks, say three 10 minute sessions per day. Try walking to work if possible. Leave work clothes and shoes there to change into. Park in the farthest away spot. Take a walk after dinner to enjoy the early evening. Make it a priority, get it done, and you will be excited by the extra energy you have when you do this. The other added bonus is you will sleep better too.
10. Laughter and Smiling. This activates deep breathing again. And it also releases endorphins, your body’s “natural high” chemical. Find opportunities to laugh, especially when the going gets rough, tough, and ugly. Rent funny videos. Seek out your funny friends and family. Work on your own sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine. Laugh at life and life laughs with you. Let smiling and laughter be your favorite exercise.
What are your favorite way to get energized? All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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